NRL ranks clubs financial performance

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You’ll never guess which NRL club is performing best – and worst – off the field​

By Adrian Proszenko

May 31, 2024 — 5.30am

They have been in the competition for less than two seasons, but the Dolphins have emerged as the NRL’s new financial powerhouse.
The NRL has benchmarked the commercial performance of all its franchises – bar the publicly listed Brisbane Broncos – and ranked them based on their overall revenue for the financial year. The benchmarking document, obtained by this masthead, shows the Dolphins have come out on top alongside the Rabbitohs, each generating $23.5 million in revenue.

That’s well above the median figure of $15.7 million, with Manly ($11.5 million) and the Warriors ($11.6 million) bringing up the rear.
Souths made a 56 per cent profit off their revenue figure for a total profit of $14 million, just above the Dolphins with 55 per cent ($13.75 million).

Penrith ($23 million; 57 per cent profit), Cowboys ($22.7 million; 63 per cent profit), Parramatta ($19.3 million; 59 per cent profit) and the Roosters ($18.2 million; 71 per cent profit) were the next-best performing clubs in terms of revenue generation. Had the Broncos been involved in the benchmarking exercise, they would likely have come out on top in most categories.
However, the unexpected success story is undoubtedly the Dolphins, who only entered the competition in 2023.

Even before a ball had been kicked in their inaugural season, the Redcliffe-based franchise had 20,000 members and $10 million in sponsorship. Their bottom line continued to improve after they won their opening game against the Sydney Roosters, just as a documentary on their journey to the big time, Dawn of the Dolphins, premiered on Stan.

“We’ve had wonderful support from day one,” said Dolphins chief executive Terry Reader. “The measure of success for us - and this showed that Brisbane didn’t just want another team, but needed another team – is that our last two home games of the year were our second– and third-biggest crowds of the year.

“That happened when we weren’t in contention for finals, which illustrates how much people were behind our club and had bought in.
“That backed up the decision that we should have had two teams in Brisbane a long time ago.”

The Wayne Bennett-coached newcomers collected more revenue in sponsorship than any other club, with $10.9 million, pipping the Roosters, with $10.4 million. The Raiders ($4.6 million) and Manly ($4.7 million) generated the least.
“A lot of our partners were new to rugby league, it was important we didn’t cannibalise the other teams in Queensland,” Reader said.

“The Broncos having Brisbane for themselves for over 35 years, there would have been a lot of partners locked out of sponsoring up here in Brisbane.
“Bringing a second team allowed them [an opportunity], and that’s one of the great things about the Dolphins’ entry: we’ve brought a lot of new partners into rugby league because of that.
“That’s a testament to how much rugby league is supported here in Brisbane and the good work that has been part of starting up our club.”

Manly CEO Tony Mestrov said the club’s home ground of 4 Pines Park at Brookvale had brought financial challenges.
“It’s a great place for the team to play, but it’s a challenge from a commercial point of view and that’s represented by our standing in the benchmarking,” Mestrov said.
“We’re endeavouring to change that with the redevelopment and with funding, as we’re seeing with Leichhardt Oval.”


Parramatta chief executive Jim Sarantinos said their result allowed them to reinvest funds into the club’s football program.
“Quite a number of years ago we were much lower down the list,” he said.
“Our club has improved a hell of a lot. The move to CommBank Stadium has helped because of the experience we can provide to members, fans and corporate partners. The club having a better period of football, than has been the case historically, over a period of three or four years helps a lot, particularly in terms of bringing on corporate partners and the like.

“The most important part is the more money we generate, the more we can invest back into our football program.”
 

Nordburg

First Grader
IMG_4907.png
 

double hoops

First Grader
So after 77 years of expansion and growing that Manly brand around the country, it is the least profitable in the comp.

Yet the dolphins can make twice the profit in their first ever year. Wow.....

You can hear it. That's the death knell of an NRL team remaining on the Northern Beaches peeps.

And that would have included that extra money from playing a Manly home game at Brisbane.
 

EaglesDontTweet

Bencher
Premium Member
Looking at that chart for commercial revenue for FY2023 - which is based on Revenue but with profit margin percentages - I've done a spreadsheet calculation on profit...doesn't read as bad given we don't have a huge stadium (=membership/coporate) and preferential free to air broadcasts (= sponsorships) ....

Also: Broncos and Storm aren't included

Profit 2023.JPG
 
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Terry Zarsoff

First Grader
Yes, mention of the profit margin vs revenue (not incl. the grant from the NRL) was a glaring omission by Proszenko. Manly’s profit margin last year was quite reasonable.

Either way, maybe he will stop referring to MWSE as the Silvertails. Yeah, I doubt that too. .
 

Chunkytuna

Reserve Grader
Tipping Member
It just goes to show folks that if you’re not a paid up member, you’re not contributing to the bottom line and to keeping our club in existence. It’s no coincidence that we’ve got one of the lower membership rates in the NRL and we’re down the bottom of these figures. If you love the club (and I presume everyone on here does), then do your bit and buy membership of some sort. There’s a million different options available so there’s ZERO excuses. If we can’t even get our most diehard fans to all be members then what hope have we got of attracting new ones and keeping our famous club alive for decades to come?! If we don’t it’ll mean us supporting the Perth Sea Eagles, or something horrible like that - NO THANKS.
 
As if I wasnt disillusioned enough now with the way the NRL is,reading this and making matters worse, I walk through my local shopping centre and walk past Lowes and see Josh Reynolds larger than life picture advertising for Lowes now, give me a break, the world has gone crazy. Can somebody please pass me my meds... :giggle: :giggle: :giggle:
 

castle eagle

Bencher
Tipping Member
Parramatta chief executive Jim Sarantinos said their result allowed them to reinvest funds into the club’s football program.
“Quite a number of years ago we were much lower down the list,” he said.
“Our club has improved a hell of a lot. The move to CommBank Stadium has helped because of the experience we can provide to members, fans and corporate partners. The club having a better period of football, than has been the case historically, over a period of three or four years helps a lot, particularly in terms of bringing on corporate partners and the like.

“The most important part is the more money we generate, the more we can invest back into our football program.”
amazing what a difference a brand new 30,000 seat stadium can make. we have had sell outs regularly this year and that's a possible 13,000 less tickets sold and that's not accounting for the corporate side of things, then there's the old 't.v. coverage disparity among teams which co-relates with sponsorship dollars' to allow for also.
 

jbb/james

First Grader
Premium Member
Tipping Member
It just goes to show folks that if you’re not a paid up member, you’re not contributing to the bottom line and to keeping our club in existence. It’s no coincidence that we’ve got one of the lower membership rates in the NRL and we’re down the bottom of these figures. If you love the club (and I presume everyone on here does), then do your bit and buy membership of some sort. There’s a million different options available so there’s ZERO excuses. If we can’t even get our most diehard fans to all be members then what hope have we got of attracting new ones and keeping our famous club alive for decades to come?! If we don’t it’ll mean us supporting the Perth Sea Eagles, or something horrible like that - NO THANKS.
I once sang this tune. But private ownership that turns its back on community when it suits and sucks from the pond when it also suits is not a good model

Penn wades in and out of issues like its a personal toy .How many CEO’s did he hire and fire . What does that do for bottom line

the fulton sagas, the media good sort man.

Isnt here any guarantee that more community funds wont just shrink penns input and we still are paupers in comparison

We chose not to pay out stewie and matai which screwed 2 seasons . Jerseygate killed another, des and toovey killed more

BUT How many shares has the footy club bought in the last 10 years. That was the dream

I would gladly give manly money, not penn and its hard to see a distinction these days
 

manly al

First Grader
No details on the Storm either but probably would have ranked in the higher bracket .
Also probably , Manly would or could expect to be in roughly the same operating situation as say the Sharks , location and area makeup wise , so no surprises there
Surprised the Titans are ranked reasonably well .
Doubt that any club or part club owners would get any direct benefit out of the profits generated .
Sure that the current club administration is always quite intent on improving the bottom line but some commercial and location factors , no doubt the main determinant and Manly will continue to be on the lower spectrum for some time yet one would expect .
Noy sure how or if 3 rd party deals are related to any of these details , and really have not been aware of the situation at Manly for some time now
 

BOZO

Journey Man
Tipping Member
So after 77 years of expansion and growing that Manly brand around the country, it is the least profitable in the comp.
I keep saying this and it is a true fact
The Greatest asset on any Organisation is the Great people it invests in
How Great are we at the moment ?
Mr Penn once famously said It is a results driven business
end quote ,
Yes it is a results driven business on and off the field and all are accountable including himself, and Our clubs financial standing will not change unless we see changes in ideas or Personnel

A quote from American CEO Jack Welch who increased his organisations market value from 12billion to 410 billion when he retired
GETTING THE RIGHT PEOPLE IN THE RIGHT JOB
IS ALOT MORE IMPORTANT THAN DEVELOPING A STRATEGY
End Quote
1717205653561.png
 

Ryan

Journey Man
We've been crap on the field for a decade. We've lost characters. We've mismanaged and been fined for cap breaches (and continue to stuff it up - see Schuster). There seems very little value to season ticket holders (as they take games away from Brooky for the $$$$).

BUT, we've had consecutive sellouts, this season.

Make no mistakes , Brooky is a disgrace. It's like lego, where you can literally see different eras depending on which side of the ground you're looking at.

Congratulations to Leichhardt. A multi purpose facility that benefits the wider community, and presents opportunities, including commercial, and individual (jobs).

But not the northern beaches. Remember we had to lobby for flood lights one year? **** me dead. So many politicians have let us down, but for mine, the biggest is that human paraquat Tony Abbott. The Arthurson's told me a story on how he reneged on promises made. Abbott's words after he was voted in, "why would I invest into what is a safe blue ribbon seat".

Guess what Tony. Your own local seat is now teal you dumb ****. I'm so glad I used to ride past him every morning on my way to work on the Ducati, and he'd be running. I'd beep my horn, he'd look up, and I'd flip the bird. Almost every morning. He'd just shake his head. It almost became part of our daily routines. He'd almost miss it if I was sick or something I reckon..

Anyways, I digress. Based in those figures, who do you think the NRL would cut away, if they needed to reduce the number of teams in the league? Sad, really. What makes it worse, is that we were gifted the North Sydney area to take ownership of.
 

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